Published: April 8, 2014
Genre: Historical Fiction
Source: Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours
In 1533, an Italian orphan with an uncanny knack for creating fragrance is plucked from poverty to become Catherine de Medici’s perfumer. To repay his debt, over the years René le Florentine is occasionally called upon to put his vast knowledge to a darker purpose: the creation of deadly poisons used to dispatch the Queen’s rivals.
But it’s René’s other passion—a desire to reanimate a human breath, to bring back the lives of the two people whose deaths have devastated him—that incites a dangerous treasure hunt five centuries later. That’s when Jac L’Etoile—suffering from a heartache of her own—becomes obsessed with the possibility of unlocking Rene’s secret to immortality.
Soon Jac’s search reconnects her with Griffin North, a man she’s loved her entire life. Together they confront an eccentric heiress whose art collection rivals many museums and who is determined to keep her treasures close at hand, not just in this life but in her next.
Set in the forest of Fontainebleau, crisscrossing the lines between the past and the present, M.J. Rose has written a mesmerizing tale of passion and obsession. This is a gothic tale perfect for fans of Anne Rice, Deborah Harkness, and Diana Galbadon.
This is the 5th book, I believe, in M. J. Rose's Reincarnationist series. I read and reviewed the fourth book, Seduction, last year and thoroughly enjoyed it (even though it creeped me out). Because of that, I had high hopes for The Collector of Dying Breaths.
I am glad to say that this book lived up to my expectations, but it wasn't exactly what I expected. While Seduction had an almost sinister feel, this one was more romantic in nature. I will say that I found Jac to be a bit more interesting in Seduction, but I'm giving Rose a pass on this. This character is in mourning in this story and her mentality and actions is consistent with that, even if it less compelling. The other characters of the book are interesting, but a bit one-dimensional. The exception to this, however, is Rene, the 16th century perfumer. He was a very well-drawn and complex man dealing with the difficult situation of being torn between duty and love.
This book is truly a maze with twists at every turn. While I could usually tell when the story was about to take another direction, I was very rarely able to predict what that direction would be. And although I didn't find the end to be especially surprising, it was a fulfilling conclusion to this entertaining story.
I received a copy of this book in return for an honest review. I received no other compensation for this post.
About the Author:
Rose lives in CT with her husband the musician and composer, Doug Scofield, and their very spoiled and often photographed dog, Winka.
For more information on M.J. Rose and her novels, please visit her website. You can also find her on Facebook, Twitter and Goodreads.